The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

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Working Witch-Maiden

Themes: Abuse | Force

The reason our handsome guest finds a coin under his pillow every morning is that he has swallowed a bird’s heart.

My mother, who is a witch, wants me to get it from him. She says we have more right to it than he does.

I hate the jobs she makes me do! How am I going to get him to cough it up? I don’t want to!

But as usual, she threatens me. “If you don’t obey me, you will regret it.”

I am forced to be obedient. And after this task, there will be another one. There is no end to her greed, and no end to her tyranny.

The Working Witch-Maiden in The Donkey Cabbage, Yellow Fairy Book